Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican musician who has a global fan base. Unlike earlier acts who converted to English to extend their fan bases, he achieved success while writing and singing in his native Spanish. Instead of adhering to the machismo-fueled ethos that pervades hip-hop, trap, and reggaeton, Bad Bunny feels at ease painting his nails, wearing skirts, and dressed in drag. He appeared in WrestleMania 37 in 2021 and has begun to take on acting gigs.
Early Life, Family and Education
Benito Antonio Martnez Ocasio was born on March 10, 1994, in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, about 30 miles west of San Juan. Bad Bunny was reared in Vega Baja’s Almirante Sur neighborhood by a lower-middle-class family. His father was a truck driver, while his mother was an English teacher. Bernie and Bysael are his two younger brothers.
Young Bad Bunny enjoyed reggaeton (a mix of hip-hop and reggae) and artists such as Daddy Yankee and Vico C. On the walk to school, he would occasionally hear reggaetonero Tego Calderón. Bad Bunny also liked salsa, merengue, and rock music. At one point, the Bee Gees were his favorite band.
Until the age of 13, Bad Bunny sang in the choir of his local Catholic church. He subsequently focused on creating his own beats in his room and freestyling at school.
Bad Bunny enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico’s Arecibo campus in the audiovisual communications program. He bagged groceries at local Econo supermarket to help pay for his schooling.
When Bad Bunny was still in college, he started sharing his music on SoundCloud. In 2016, the popularity of his song “Diles” resulted in phone calls from producers, which Bad Bunny had to answer while working in a grocery shop.
After finding a manager, Noah Assad, Bad Bunny devised a strategy to get popularity by releasing tracks and videos on YouTube rather than attempting to contract with major record labels.
Albums and Songs
Bad Bunny was featured on a number of popular singles in 2017, including “Pa Ti,” “Loco Pero Millonario,” and “Sensualidad.” In 2018, his singles success continued with the Grammy-nominated “I Like It.”
Bad Bunny’s debut album, X 100PRE, was released on Christmas Eve of 2018. It peaked at number one on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. The album exhibits Bad Bunny’s ability in a variety of music genres, allowing him to cope with his fame while also demonstrating his strengths.X 100PRE was nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Music Album.
In 2019, Bad Bunny released the Oasis EP with Colombian rapper and reggaeton singer J Balvin. It was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album.
Bad Bunny performed alongside Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and J Balvin during the 2020 Super Bowl. On Leap Day of that year, he published YHLQMDLG (Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana, which translates to “I Do Whatever I Want”), a reggaeton album. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. It also received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Urban/Pop Album, which Bad Bunny nicknamed his “gringo Grammy.”
Another Bad Bunny album, Las Que No Iban a Salir, will be released in May 2020. Its ten tracks are made up of outtakes from prior recording sessions. Later that year, his single “Dakiti” debuted at No. 1. El ltimo Tour del Mundo, Bad Bunny’s third album of the year, will be released on Thanksgiving 2020. It was the first all-Spanish album to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.
In December 2020, Spotify named Bad Bunny its artist of the year. His song has received over 8 billion streams.
“I’m pleased that we are in a time where I don’t need to change anything about myself — not my musical style, not my language, not my culture — to go far,” Bad Bunny said in a 2021 interview. That is not to say I will never sing in English. I’ve already performed in Japanese, so perhaps one day I’ll perform in English as well. It feels amazing to be able to do things my way.”
“Yonaguni,” Bad Bunny’s first solo Top 10 smash after multiple joint attempts, was the song he sung in Japanese. Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, engo Flow, Jowell y Randy, Ozuna, Enrique Iglesias, Drake, Maluma, Karol G, Rosala, Marc Anthony, and Will Smith are among Bad Bunny’s musical collaborators. El ultimo Tour del Mundo won best urban music album at the 2022 Grammys.
Bad Bunny’s music frequently includes socially concerned sentiments. Following Hurricane Maria’s devastation, he attempted to capture the spirit of Puerto Rico in “Estamos Bien.” When he performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Bad Bunny reminded the audience that a year after the September 2017 storm, many Puerto Rican households were still without power.
Bad Bunny tackled spousal violence in Latin America with his 2018 single “Sólo de M.” During a subsequent Tonight Show appearance in 2020, Bad Bunny drew attention to the murder of a trans woman in Puerto Rico by wearing a shirt that read, “Mataron an Alexa, no an un hombre con falda,” which translates as “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic quarantine in 2020, Bad Bunny serenaded New Yorkers while riding on top of a truck through the city. He sang to health workers at Harlem Hospital on his final stop.
Bad Bunny has also taken direct action. He participated in protests in July 2019 calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló after text texts revealed the governor and other officials to be sexist and homophobic, as well as ridiculing storm victims. In addition, Bad Bunny wrote the protest song “Afilando Los Cuchillos.” He urged people to vote in the 2020 election.
Bad Bunny’s Good Bunny Foundation helps impoverished youngsters. He collaborated with Cheetos’ Deja Tu Huella campaign to deliver $500,000 to ten students who are serving their communities.
Bad Bunny is known for his unique fashion sensibilities and has designed clothes and sneakers for Adidas. He put his own spin on a series of glow-in-the-dark Crocs, which quickly sold out after their release.
Bad Bunny has a supporting role in the TV show Narcos: Mexico. He also appeared with Brad Pitt in the action movie Bullet Train and has a role in the upcoming comedy American Sole.
How Did Bad Bunny Get His Name?
In 2018, Bad Bunny revealed the roots of his name to ET. “I had to dress up as a bunny in school when I was a little boy, and there’s a picture of me with an annoyed face.” “When I saw it, I thought to myself, ‘Bad Bunny,'” he explained. “It’s a name I knew would do well in the market.” A bunny is so frequent that I reasoned, “Every time someone sees one, they’ll remember my music.”
In 2017, Bad Bunny began dating jewelry designer Gabriela Berlingeri, whom he met at a restaurant in Puerto Rico. The pair shared the Covid-19 quarantine period. Berlingeri co-wrote “En Casita” with Bad Bunny.
In addition to attracting notice for his painted nails, Bad Bunny has shown an open-minded approach to sex and gender. “It does not define me,” he stated in 2020 of his sexuality. “At the end of the day, I’m not sure if I’ll like a man in 20 years.” In life, one never knows. But for the time being, I am heterosexual and enjoy women.”